What factors elevate a burglary charge to aggravated burglary in Texas? Read on to learn about this crime and the penalties involved.
Theft, shoplifting, and burglary are similar crimes that involve a person taking something that is not theirs. Of these, burglary is the most serious, as it involves breaking into a home or a public structure, such as a store, to take items. Under Texas Penal Code § 30.02, burglary is defined as illegally entering a private or public building with the intent to commit theft, assault or other felony crime.
Burglary involves two main elements — illegal entry of a building and intent to commit a felony crime such as theft or assault. Both elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt or admitted by the defendant. If only one element exists, a person cannot be convicted of burglary.
What makes a regular burglary crime an aggravated burglary? Aggravated crimes are more serious crimes that are treated more seriously by prosecutors. Aggravated burglary is charged when the offense is more dangerous than a traditional burglary. This means that breaking into a house is burglary. Breaking into a house while carrying a gun, knife or other weapon will likely elevate the crime to aggravated burglary.
Need legal help in Texas?
Be it family law, divorce, criminal defense, or personal injury — our Texas family law attorneys are here to help. We are results-driven, and we work tirelessly for our clients.
Our Houston family law and divorce attorneys have been providing compassionate and personalized legal services in Texas. Scott M. Brown is a certified family law specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Simply having the weapon in your possession while committing the burglary is enough to be charged with aggravated burglary. You do not need to shoot or stab someone. You do not even need to threaten anyone with it. Simple possession is all a prosecutor needs.
However, you do not necessarily need a weapon in your possession to get charged with aggravated assault. If you enter a home to commit a burglary and you assault the homeowner, causing serious injuries, you can be charged with aggravated burglary. That is because you did not simply go to the house and steal anything. You committed the crime of assault in the process.
Most aggravated crimes are charged as second-degree felonies. However, a first-degree felony applies in certain situations. For example, if the victim is related to or dating the offender or was acting as a security officer or public servant at the time the burglary takes place, then the offender could be charged with a first-degree aggravated burglary crime.
The penalties for aggravated burglary can be serious. The punishment for a second-degree aggravated burglary crime include a fine of up to $10,000 and two and 20 years in prison. A first-degree offense can result in five years to life in prison.
Contact a Pearland Burglary Defense Lawyer Today
Aggravated burglary is a serious crime that can lead to felony charges and many years in prison. With the right legal help, you can avoid this fate.
The Pearland burglary defense lawyers at Scott M. Brown & Associates can assess your case and do what we can to reduce the charges or even eliminate them altogether. We can advise you of your options and even represent you in court. To schedule a consultation, fill out the online form or call us at (832) 956-0293.